Far be it for me to disagree with the motor city poet, Sir Bob Seger, who once sang “I’m a man, not a number.”
But we are numbers.
if not social security numbers, drivers license numbers, credit scores, and zip codes,
we are definitely, for surely, zeroes and ones in the database of life.
Klout, a fledgling frisco start up, wants to attempt to assign a number to your social media prowess and influence based on what you publicize and how the network responds to you.
seems simple enough, those who have a lot of twitter followers and facebook friends will invariably say something and depending on its importance, wit, or timeliness will get a reaction from those in that circle.
if you have a relatively large circle, and that circle pays attention to you and echoes what you say, your klout score, rises.
if people stop retweeting what you say and/or unfollow or defriend you, your number goes down.
strangely your number goes up and down depending if you sign up with Klout and give them access to your social media accounts
which is the first thing Klout should change
if Klout really wanted to be the judge and jury of the Internet’s most important number, they should punish people for signing up with Klout.
since all of this is is a rerun of high school, everyone knows the super hot babe isnt going to join yr nerd club – which only makes her hotter. likewise the only people who would hand over omg Everything to let you join yr lame-o club is less hot.
same should go for Klout. if you can attract a big audience of people who repeat what you say or play off what you write, and you can do it without signing up with someone li
ke Klout, you actually have what Klout is attempting to rate.
likewise if you are some publicist or marketing person, trying to pump up your client’s virtual Q-score by giving away all kinds of crazy access to your benefactor’s social media back end, your number should be deducted.
indeed, you should lose 20 points. why 20? because thats how much you lose if you use Klout and then stop letting them have access to your teet.
If Klout is a radar detector and someone is flying under the radar, that’s not Klout’s fault. And if Klout was really trying to provide an accurate score they should say “sorry they aren’t appearing on our screen.”
People will invariably sign up with a powerful Klout even if they lost points off of it, and when that happens Klout should see how social media companies treat the individuals’ data. If a company like Flickr, lets say, gives a company like Klout private information about Flickr users’ private photos – even if the user said it’s ok – Klout should ding Flickr users points for synching their info to Klout.
Why? Because a savvy Internet person, with actual clout, would never agree to handing over data labeled private to a third person that has barely existed. And a photo sharing company that cannot parse private data from public data is not a primo company.
“It’s impossible to separate private data from public data to share with third parties through APIs,” the primo company might say.
Here’s what Klout should say in response: “are you kidding me? there are probably 25 kids on Reddit right now, living in Frisco, who could do it. Your company is now dinged 20 points until you learn that private really truly honestly means private even if your customer foolishly waives their rights with a misguided click of their finger.”
Since Klout is running around giving people scores, who better to judge than corporations, since as Mitt Romney says, they’re people too m’friend.
What will happen is Klout will start influencing internet companies by how they punish and reward people who use those products.
Klout will get rich.
And they will congratulate themselves for listening to my advice, placing me on their board,
and hiring me as VP of Swagger.